Pension fears grow as Zahawi refuses to commit triple lock

Furious OAP rages at triple lock broken promise

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Nadhim Zahawi has refused to commit to the pensions triple lock, amid growing fears of a U-turn on the issue. Around 12.5 million people who receive the state pension could face a real-terms cut in earnings if their payments do not rise in line with soaring inflation, which is currently at around 10 percent. The triple lock was suspended last year meaning pensioners received a 3.1 percent increase.

When asked about the policy on LBC, Mr Zahawi said: “I won’t pre-empt the autumn statement.”

He warned: “Rishi did say there will be some tough decisions, but he also recognises that we have to look after the most vulnerable and that is what he will always do.”

While former Prime Minister Liz Truss committed to keeping the triple lock in place, fears of a U-turn on the issue began to grow yesterday, after Mr Sunak refused to make the same commitment.

Speaking about the triple lock yesterday, the Prime Minister’s Press Secretary said: “That is something that is going to be wrapped up into the fiscal statement, we wouldn’t comment ahead of any fiscal statements or budgets.

“But what I can say is he has shown through his record as chancellor is that he will do what’s right and compassionate for the most vulnerable.”

The triple lock ensures that the state pension rises in line with whichever is highest of 2.5 percent, wages and inflation.

Yesterday, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Jonathan Ashworth accused Mr Sunak of not being on the side of pensioners.

He said: “Older people are paying the price for the Conservatives’ economic mess.

“Rishi Sunak stood on a manifesto in 2019 on a pledge to keep the triple lock. Now he’s threatening that promise to Britain’s retirees. With pensioners struggling under the Conservatives’ cost of living crisis, it’s clear that Rishi Sunak is not on their side.”

The Lib Dems accused Mr Sunak of an “endless hokey cokey” over the policy.

Wendy Chamberlain, Liberal Democrat’s work and pensions spokesperson, said: “Rishi Sunak stood on the steps of Downing Street yesterday pledging to rebuild trust and stick to the promises made in the Conservative manifesto.

“But already he’s preparing to tear up his party’s promise on the pensions triple lock while slashing welfare support for the most vulnerable.

“This endless hokey cokey from the Conservatives is leaving pensioners and struggling families in a desperate limbo.

She added: “It shows this Conservative government can’t be trusted and is totally out of touch with people trying to make ends meet.”

Meanwhile, Age UK said the uncertainty over the policy is “upsetting and destabilising” for older people.

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